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Australia: Virgin Australia Slashes 750 Jobs And Plans Flight Cuts

One of Australia’s largest airlines, Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, commonly known as Virgin Australia, backed by China’s HNA Group Co., led by Paul Scurrah has announced 750 job cuts and a wide-ranging operational review after reporting a seventh consecutive annual loss.

Virgin Australia is the largest airline by fleet size to use the Virgin brand. The airline commenced its services on 31 August 2000 as Virgin Blue, with two aircraft on a single route, was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin Group), and former CEO Brett Godfrey.

Virgin Australia’s ownership structure is different from the ones prevailing in modern-day airlines. HNA, Nanshan Group, Etihad and Singapore Airlines Ltd. each own about 20% of the carrier and none of them has ultimate control. 

The Airline however, directly serves 42 cities in Australia, from hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The airline is based in Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Queensland.

The new Chief Executive Officer Paul Scurrah’s attempt to make the airline commercially viable. The airline has already pushed back delivery of its first Boeing Co. 737 Max jet by almost two years. Scurrah’s mission seems to be complicated by a slowing domestic economy, rising fuel costs and a weaker Australian dollar.

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., airline’s shares fell to a decade-low. The job slash will affect almost 8% of the airline’s total workforce, which includes shrink of corporate and head office staff, Virgin Australia. 

Also, the airline is planning to review its fleet and routes, and will cut some international and domestic flights as well. The airline is also reassessing the contracts with its suppliers.  

Scurrah in a statement said, “We must improve our financial performance.” 

By: Keith Hoffman


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